Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Bangladesh’s overall imports grew by 44.37 percent in the first eight months of this fiscal, thanks to a jump by nearly 117 percent in the import of food grains, officials said on Saturday.
“The overall imports increased during the period due mainly to higher import of food grains, particularly rice and wheat,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) said, adding that the importers have been encouraged to open letters of credit (LCs) for importing food grains to ensure the country’s food security
The import of food grains stood at $ 1.114 billion during the period against $ 514.62 million in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, while other consumer goods came down to $ 1.068 billion from $ 1.145 billion, according to the BB statistics.
LCs against imports worth US$ 20.604 billion were settled during the July-February period of fiscal 2010-11 (FY 11), compared to $ 14.272 billion during the corresponding period of the last fiscal, the BB data showed.
During the period, food grains import stood higher at 3.152 million tons compared to 2.340 million tons in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, the BB data showed.
Food grains stock including that under the pipeline with the government also stood higher at 891,000 tons at the end of February this calendar year compared to 809,000 tons at the end of February, 2010.
The actual production of food grains stood at 33.158 million tons during FY10, the central bank officials added.
They said import of other essential items including petroleum products, industrial raw materials and capital machinery also increased significantly during the period to meet the domestic demand.
Import of petroleum products grew by 50 percent to $ 2.004 billion during the period against $ 1.336 billion of the corresponding period in the previous fiscal.
“Petroleum products import may increase further in the coming months to meet soaring demand for irrigation and oil-based power plants,” the BB official said.
Import of capital machinery – industrial equipment used for production – was up by 39.52 per cent to $ 1.324 billion, reflecting a rising level of confidence among the entrepreneurs about the country’s future industrial prospects, the central bank official noted.
However, industrial raw materials import grew by 54.79 per cent to $ 8.195 billion during the period under review from $ 5.294 billion in the corresponding period of the pervious fiscal.
Meanwhile, import of intermediate goods like coal, hard coke, clinker and scrap vessels decreased by 0.18 per cent to $ 1.265 billion during the period from $ 1.267 billion in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.
During the period, import of machinery for miscellaneous industries witnessed a 48.07 per cent rise to $ 1.792 billion compared to $ 1.210 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal.
BBN/SSR/AD-10Apr11-1:14 am (BST)